Thomas Hoepker was on the staff of the German magazine Kristall in 1963 when the editor asked him if he would be interested in taking a road trip with a writer across America. He was told: “Show us the United States outside of the big cities and the well-known tourist spots. Show us what it’s like to live there for ordinary people.”

Hoepker said of the trip: “This was a typical assignment in that period. It was still post-war Germany; people had not traveled widely, television was in its infancy and the magazine’s readers simply wanted to see and read about foreign countries. So we rented a car and drove it from New York to Los Angeles and back, looking at Middle America. The trip took us three months.”

I am not an artist. I am an image maker

Thomas Hoepker
© Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos

Thomas Hoepker studied art history and archeology, then worked as a photographer for Münchner Illustrierte and Kristall magazines between 1960 and 1963, reporting from all over the world.

Specializing in reportage and stylish color features, he received the prestigious Kulturpreis of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie in 1968. As well as numerous critically acclaimed photo projects, he worked as a cameraman and producer of documentary films, including the award winning Death in a Cornfield.

Hoepker currently lives in New York. He shoots and produces TV documentaries together with his wife, Christine Kruchen.

© Thomas Hoepker | Magnum Photos

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